t is a cool 3 degrees in Ottawa, and I am hustling along with my
fellow early morning travellers to get the next train. I see many ladies of the super curly hair descent, sporting various protective hairstyles indicative of the season, but do protective hairstyles help hair grow?
If you grew up in the typical Afro-centric household as a female,
you probably had your hair done in a protective hairstyle. Mostly, the term was used to mean a hairstyle that did not involve the use of chemicals, a.k.a the relaxer. From spring to the end of summer, you might be allowed to straighten your hair with a relaxer, pressing comb or a flat iron, but come fall, your mother would promptly ship you off to get braids or something done for the winter.
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When spring comes around again for the thousandth time, your hair would have grown several inches.
This proved that despite doubts whether protective styles help hair grow, you cannot dismiss it.
Protective styles can involve the use of hair extensions or not. It covers many hair styles such as braids, crochet braids, weaves, 2-strand twists and cornrows. The hotly debated question of whether it always grows the hair is also— it depends. The reason I say it depends are for the following reasons:
- If the person who does your braids, cornrows etc. braided your hair so tightly, you see stars, you will experience hair breakage and lose the growth.
- Should you be capable of braiding or cornrowing your hair but neglect to have your ends trimmed ever so often, then your hair will break over time.
- If you are one of those people who likes or has your weave so tightly sewn you have almond-shaped eyes, your hair is being destroyed.
- People who leave extensions in their hair over the allotted time will experience breakage when the weight becomes too much.
- Those who like to do the micro braids and leave them in for over 6 months or until they become little dreadlocks, half the time they end up cutting the growth off.
- Some ladies, born with less hair but love lots of volume, tend to have a lot more hair extensions than their hair and the weight destroys their natural hair eventually.
- A lot of women are wearing wigs to allow the hair to grow. The catch is that many forgot to do regular treatments and trims on the hair under the wigs. They lose the hairline because they don’t notice when the wig tangles and rips the hair over time.
Surely the answer to the question: do protective hairstyles help hair grow hair is yes–if you know what you are doing.
By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design